Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
Imagery creation is arguably a central notion to eggcorns, but I was wondering just how little imagery is required…
In the past, we’ve seen imagery fragments.. as in the transformation of “Cappuccino” to “Cup o’ Chino.” Although the imagery aspect to “Chino” remains ill-defined, we could all make sense of “Cup o’”—and that is probably enough for the entire expression to be deemed an eggcorn.
But now I’m wondering just how far we could take the vagueness aspect. I guess I started wondering about this when I saw a recent post about “eggball” (derived from “eightball”). I can certainly conjure a degree of imagery there, but not consistently so.
Moreso than that example, I was thinking about how I once thought that “ampersand” was really “ambersand.” I can’t really say there was any imagery involved except for the fact that both “amber” and “sand” are concrete terms that I was familiar with. Conversely, I initially had no reason to move my understanding of that word toward “amper…” until I either saw the full word in print or heard it carefully enunciated.
I guess this might move us a little into the realm of eye dialect rather than eggcorns. I would even include the concatenation of shorter words to approximately spell out the sounds of a longer word as a gray area. At any rate, it’s got me wondering about the possibilities.
Very interesting. Joe, I’m not surprised you came up with this. Always thinking. I think you’ve come up with a good question, “how to quantify the amount of imagery necessary to cross the threshold into eggcorn?” I’ll confess, I, too am stumped. But, you have set some good parameters to start with. The imagery fragment of “cup o’ chino” on one side of the threshold and “eggball” on the other. It would be nice if the range could be “tightened up” a bit, but it looks like it will have to come about on a case by case basis. The forum provides a great way to sift through these and assist.
Strange thing…..I’m not sure which side of the threshold “eggcorn” would be! Are blind hogs looking for Easter eggs? Candy corn? What’s the imagery here?
An acorn might look like an egg-shaped item from the corn family. Whence, eggcorn?